|Bjo Trimble's "Do's and Don'ts of
Submitted By: Bjo Trimble
Please note: There are some references in here to
the "Save Star Trek" campaign that existed back
in the late 60s, although this information is very
valuable today as it was back then!
A LITTLE HISTORY: Back when John and I
started the "Save Star Trek" campaign,
we needed to make NBC open mail from the fans. With that
in mind, I interviewed about 50 secretaries, asking them
what types of letters they attended to themselves, tossed
in the trash, or made sure their bosses looked at. The
answers I got became the list below. I removed the
information on petitions because they truly do not work
anymore. Though some of the actual letter-writing
information won't work for e-mail, the advice about being
polite and having a good attitude applies at any time.
Remember, we'll deserve the fate of having nothing to
watch on TV if, through inaction, we let Star Trek
die [Or, in our case, not giving Jim Kirk the fitting
send-off he deserves -- Ed.]! - Bjo Trimble
FIRST: Write your letter, following the
suggestions below. Then ask 10 (ten) people to write a
letter. Ask them to ask 10 people to write a letter. They
will ask 10 people to write a letter, and so on.... and
so on.... and so on....
Be neat, write clearly, and sign the letter.
It does no good to send a sloppy letter that
nobody can read, and anonymous mail is always
thrown away, or saved to show the media what kind
of NUTS are writing in. The media loves to make
fans look as if they are all completely crazy.
Address a VIP familiarly, or tell the network
You are asking a favor; the privilege of seeing
Kirk return for one last adventure. The wrong
attitude will nullify your letter, and the
Write "Star Trek" on the outside
of the envelope.
The letters will be sent, unopened, directly to
the show and not be seen by anyone at Paramount,
Viacom, or UPN, to whom you are making your
Be polite. Don't attack another show, or anyone's
Remember you are asking for something.
Secretaries just discard letters that start with
"you fathead!" or whine "howcum
*THAT* stupid show is still on the air, and Star
Send letters directly to Star Trek unless
you want to say something to the people there.
Letters directed to the show are seldom seen by
the network officials; only letters addressed as
shown on this list will be effective for any
Be sincere. If you don't buy a sponsor's product,
just say something nice about their intelligence
in sponsoring Star Trek. These people can
spot a "put-on" as fast as you can. If
you do buy the product, be sure to say so!
Sponsors seldom get anything but complaints, and
a sincere letter of praise can encourage them to
continue sponsoring Star Trek.
Send form letters of any kind: photocopied,
mimeographed, carbon copies or even copies of
someone else's letter will be spotted and tossed.
Your letter need not be long, but it must be in
your own words.
Anything approaching a form letter is easily
detected and will instantly give the impression
that only a tiny segment of fans is doing all the
writing. Your letter should be original. (With
today's computerization, it is very easy to
detect copies of copies - and it is very easy to
replicate letters with the
"copy-and-paste" feature also!)
Send carbon copies when and only when they will
be effective; to show Paramount and Viacom that
you have written to the sponsors, for instance.
Be sure to include a letter directed to Paramount
and Viacom, also.
This shows you are going to all possible lengths
to Bring Back Kirk. (cc to sponsors
Represent yourself as anything you aren't.
As with form letters, networks are geared to
ferret out spurious claims, and tricks will not
help ours, or any sort of, endeavor at all!
Use company letterheads or club stationery
whenever you legitimately can do so.
Professional people and community groups can
carry a lot of weight. Networks and holding
companies are extremely sensitive to groups which
are, or could become, "pressure
groups." This includes teachers, student
groups, pastors, priests, and any organization.
Use a business-sized #9 or #10 white envelope for
your letter, even if you don't have a company
Cute stationery and small or colored envelopes
look "fannish," while a white
business-sized envelope will make the network
open it just in case it *is* really business.
(This worked so well for the original Save Star
Trek campaign that NBC had to hire extra
people to open the mail! And, if done correctly,
it'll be the same for Paramount, UPN, and Viacom,
Hand out this information to everyone interested
in Bringing Back Kirk. Copy this information
(flyers) for your club members, relatives, people
at work, etc.
It will take the cooperation of *everyone* to
reach all the Star Trek and Jim Kirk fans
out there; no one person or group can possibly
even know of all potential fans who might aid
this project. Remember the Rule of Ten: ask 10
people, who ask 10 people, who ask 10 people....
Pre-judge who will be interested, just tell
You can't guess who will be interested, or how
far one piece of information can travel. (We
included a flyer with all outgoing mail: catalog
orders, bill-paying, and family Christmas cards.
The response was amazing! Someone in our local
gas company copied the information; someone
picked up a flyer and sent it to Mensa
headquarters! When a catalog order arrived, we
found a note from the packer who asked for more
flyers to hand out at church. A relative turned
out to be a closet Trekker, who passed our
information on to nearly 100 people.)
- local TV stations carrying Star Trek
- local TV columnists in newspapers and
- metropolitan newspaper columnists
- national TV columnists
- TV Guide
Mention any connection with Star Trek,
even if you happen to know someone on the show
Networks have suspicious minds, and mentioning
such a connection to Paramount, UPN, and/or
Viacom Corporation will only nullify your letter.
They will immediately suspect that you have been
talked into writing, instead of this being a fan
Put off writing those letters! If you are short
of time, write to the top names on the list; your
letter could be the one that tips the scales in Star
Options are renewed around January-February, so
there isn't much time in which to get letters to
Paramount, Viacom & UPN, and sponsors, if
this campaign is to be successful.
Help Bring Back Kirk - NOW!!